Tourism and Poverty Reduction: Pathways to Prosperity

Books or book chapters
March 2010
Jonathan Mitchell and Caroline Ashley

Tourism can reduce poverty in developing countries. But tourism growth is not universally inclusive of the poor. Moreover our understanding of how tourism affects the poor is largely based on partial and superficial analysis. Researchers from different disciplines and practitioners with different objectives generally work in splendid isolation from each other and from the mainstream of development economics. Detailed economic analysis remains buried and is rarely challenged for policy implications, let alone poverty implications.

This book provides an overview of a broad array of analyses of how tourism affects poor people. First, it pulls these together to identify three main pathways by which impacts on poverty can be delivered. Second, it reviews the empirical evidence on the scale and significance of impacts within each pathway, exploring where comparisons can be made and where they cannot. Finally, it considers the different methods used to gather and collect data, and implications for how we should work in the future.

Tourism and Poverty Reduction draws on international evidence throughout, but provides particular insights into Africa and other less developed countries. It makes a major contribution to a more coherent, cross-disciplinary and sensitive approach to the tourism-poverty debate.

'This is the first major publication to begin the task of collecting and collating what little evidence there is of a relationship between tourism and poverty alleviation, as opposed to the relationship between tourism and wealth creation, for which there is plenty of evidence. It will be a useful publication for academics, researchers and all involved in designing, assessing or promoting tourism projects which are in any way associated with general development goals.'

Martin Mowforth, Research Fellow in Human Geography, School of Geography, University of Plymouth, UK

'Drawing on a wide range of empirical material, the authors clearly show how tourism - including mass tourism - can effectively alleviate poverty. Policy makers and academics should benefit from this invaluable guide to the literature.'

David Harrison, School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, University of the South Pacific, Fiji Islands

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